For my Grandfather – Ladd Loula

The wooden swing soars back and forth, back and forth, as it carries me through an early summer breeze. Overhead ropes creak, squeak, against burly maple bark. White blossoms drift and dance from a nearby apple tree. The curls upon my shoulders caress my back, then my face. A robin alights from the emerald carpet below while a finch warbles from somewhere unseen. An early afternoon sun bestows warmth upon my bare arms, hands holding tight. My Mary Janes push out before me, then back in syncopation as I am carried back and forth, back and forth.

From around the corner of the log shed he comes. A wreath of pipe smoke about his head, glasses perched upon his nose. Rugged hands place wood upon a sawhorse and before he begins his work, sends me a wink and a grin. The saw begins in rhythm to my movement, back and forth, back and forth. I watch in fascination for before my eyes he is creating with his hammer and saw. The destination of his toil unknown to me, but I do not care. I continue back and forth, back and forth.

From my seat upon the stoop an autumn zephyr touches my cheeks as gray unfurls overhead. The swing under the maple moves with the wind, back and forth, back and forth. The apple tree is long bare of fruit and blossom and leaves. His sawhorse is empty, his place here is gone. A blackbird dips, then climbs, and dips again. Leaves tumble across the lawn, back and forth, back and forth.

It is as if time slows, the chill abates. The gray loses its grip on the sky and sun streams in celestial rays. The breeze releases my curls and the leaves cease to dance. A hand upon my shoulder, a kiss upon my face. No one is there…but yet he is. He is in the breeze, and the tree, and the swing, and the leaves, and the blackbird overhead. And as quickly as life stopped, it began again. Back and forth, back and forth.

About tkaiser

The stories of those that came before us, and their impact on the present, are a constant source of inspiration for me.
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